Israeli Planned Real-estate Developer's Murder for Seven Months, Police Say

Daniel Keidar planned the assassination after real-estate developer Eldad Peri, under ballooning debt, demanded hundreds of thousands of shekels for two apartments he had already bought

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דניאל קדר, השבוע בבית משפט השלום בראשון לציון
דניאל קדר, השבוע בבית משפט השלום בראשון לציוןCredit: ניר קידר
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

Police said the man suspected of assassinating real estate entrepreneur Eldad Peri last month had planned the murder over the course of seven months and that an indictment would soon be filed against him.

The police said on Monday that they had completed their investigation into the murder of real estate entrepreneur Eldad Peri and would indict suspect Daniel Keidar on Friday.

The suspect, Daniel Keidar, who was arrested three weeks ago, planned the murder after Peri demanded hundreds of thousands of shekels more for two apartments in a housing project he had bought from him, according to the police.

Investigators said the bullets found at the scene of the crime in Rehovot fit a revolver owned by Keidar. Security cameras recorded a motorcycle leaving the scene that was also traced to the suspect.

Eldad Peri at a real estate conference of TheMarker in 2019Credit: Ofer Vaknin

The police checked more than 2,000 potential suspects, including a business partner of Peri's who had hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of debt, investors, people who had lent him money, and home buyers. Eventually, they narrowed the list down to Keidar, because, among other reasons, his motorcycle had been seen in the area of the crime in the months prior to the killing.

Investigators said that in order to establish an alibi, Keidar had left his cellphone at home in Rishon Lezion. In the evening after the murder, he met a friend at a café.

“We rubbed our eyes when we realized we suspected a perfectly normal person,” said a police source. “Our initial assumption was that this didn’t involve organized crime, but a lone killer using his personal weapon from his own motorcycle with the license plate covered.”

The police source added, “The murder was done in a very cruel way, and we quickly concluded it was an act of revenge.”

Keidar initially denied any connection to the killing, but after he was shown evidence pointing to his role, he exercised his right to silence. Investigators said he incriminated himself during questioning.

Peri was shot in the drive-by shooting as he left the synagogue he routinely prayed at. Police believe that the shooter waited for him, sitting on his motorcycle in a nearby driveway. When Peri approached his car, the killer shot multiple bullets at his upper body at close range and fled.

Two joggers in the area at the time heard the shot and alerted police. Attempts to resuscitate Peri failed, and he was declared dead at the scene.

Peri was one of Israel’s best-known property developers and owned the company Peri Real Estate. However, in the past year, several of his projects had been put on hold, and many buyers accused him of concealing hundreds of millions of shekels they had paid him in down payments.

More recently, after his company collapsed, Peri found himself enmeshed in personal debt due to guarantees he had given to corporate and private lenders. Bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against him. In June, TheMarker reported that Peri's personal debts came to 342 million shekels ($110.7 million) and that his company accrued 500 million shekels in debt.

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